A Few Random Thoughts

When Jesus spoke of how God sends the sun and the rain to the just and unjust alike (Matthew 5:45), he spoke of how God's love is shared universally among all people. All people. What does this mean for mysticism? Here's a few random thoughts: each and every one of us, at all times, in all places, is fully immersed in the luminous, radiant, dazzling love of God. This means that each and every one of us has immediate access to all the love and bliss we could ever hope for. Naturally, for many of … [Read more...]

What I’m reading right now…

I always enjoy finding out what people are reading. So I thought I'd share with the world what's on my nightstand right now. It's actually an uncharacteristically short stack of books. When I'm in hardcore writing mode, I might have 30 or more books going at a time, but my current list is only a fraction of that. Here goes (in no particular order):Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale by Ian Morgan Cron Monastic Practices by Charles Cummings, OCSO Thomas Merton: Essential Writings selected with … [Read more...]

Hidden in Plain Sight

I received an email this morning from a Catholic who is interested in finding something deeper in faith, and has begun to explore a variety of topics, including Gnosticism and Edgar Cayce. This person wonders if the Vatican might have some secret information hidden away that could truly revolutionize what it means to be a Christian. Here is my reply:There are many similarities in our journeys... I first became interested in Catholicism in 1979 and for a variety of reasons never formally … [Read more...]

Mysticism and Social Media?

Here's a fascinating video, and I'd love to hear what people think about this. Although it's aimed at business, when I watch this I wonder about what the relationship will be between social media and mystical spirituality in the years to come. Sitting in front of a computer screen isn't exactly a traditional contemplative practice; texting on an iPhone isn't exactly a category of lectio divina. For those of us who believe that the world needs more silence, more stillness, more sabbath rest, more … [Read more...]

Distinguishing Mysticism from Contemplation

Gary asks: "Christian mysticism, contemplative Christian spirituality, (pardon my naive position but are these different, similar or the same?)..."Regarding the distinction between contemplation and mysticism: I do address this issue in my forthcoming book (can't resist the plug), but briefly, I would say mysticism is an umbrella term for spirituality that engages the mysteries of the  faith (and this is a pun, for the Eastern Orthodox Churches call the sacraments the "mysteries"), whereas … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The closer we grow to God, the more intensely we experience the love of God and the desire for God that awakens in us, the more painful become all those defects of character to which we still cling because they are part of our self-definition; this includes even our definition of ourselves in relation to God as we have experienced that to this point. We are now called not merely to detachment of worldly things from our egoism but the very giving up of those structures of self that we believe … [Read more...]

The Epistemology of Post-Fundamentalism

A friend of mine, formerly a devout Christian who is now an atheist (and, unfortunately, a rather bitter and cynical one at that), wrote this to me recently: I got into religion as a literal believer, and I became disappointed when I discovered that I was repeatedly lied to (the earth is not 6000 years old, for instance, and now I suspect that Jesus is not God in the flesh, any more than anyone else is anyway). Sigh.I understand his feeling of being lied to. But I am reminded of Meister … [Read more...]